- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Bye, bye ‘Blue’

Remember when the flashes of skin on ABC’s “NYPD Blue” still had the capacity to shock?

Those days are long gone. So perhaps it’s fitting that “NYPD Blue” will call it quits after next season, its 12th.

“It’s better to go out too early rather than overstay our welcome,” show creator Steven Bochco said in a statement that also left some wiggle room should the ABC suits change their minds and consider a 13th year.

“NYPD Blue,” which currently stars Dennis Franz as Andy Sipowicz and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as John Clark, has gone through a number of significant cast changes through the years but has endured despite the flux.

‘Perfect’ portrayal

Once again, the USA Network is dramatizing a major crime story before the jury has rendered its verdict.

“The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story,” an original telepic starring Dean Cain as accused wife killer Scott Peterson, airs at 8 tonight.

In olden days (any year pre-2003) television producers usually waited for a case to be concluded before launching a dramatic re-creation.

Blame our collective attention deficit disorder or producers who fear we will have moved on to the next high-profile court case before the case du jour has wrapped up.

USA debuted “D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear” last year, also months before the two criminal cases concluded.

Mr. Cain, once Lois Lane’s romantic foil on television’s “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” is admittedly a dead ringer for Mr. Peterson. With the actual Mr. Peterson’s guilt still in doubt, however, will Mr. Cain’s performance be acting — or mere mimicry?

Mr., Mrs. Governator

It takes a lot of imagination to picture a member of the Kennedy clan cozying up to a Republican bodybuilder. Then again, who could predict a monosyllabic movie star ascending to the governor’s office in California?

E! examines both these improbabilities Sunday in its latest “True Hollywood Story” installment.

“Arnold and Maria: The E! True Hollywood Story” looks at one of Tinseltown’s most unlikely unions, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.

The episode airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on E!.

‘Sex’s‘ final hurrahs

HBO’s “Sex and the City” may be exiting stage right, but it’s doing so with an abundance of wit, style and, for a show centered on pricey shoes and sexual romps, humanity.

This miniseason has shown these gals can, in fits and starts, blossom into mature women. Each one’s inimitable identity remains more or less intact, but the women are evolving in ways that seemed near impossible following a few inane episodes last year.

Samantha (Kim Cattrall) has embraced losing her hair to chemotherapy by donning a new wig in every scene, and her relationship with the youthful Smith (Jason Lewis) actually resembles an adult courtship. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is finding a mature romance of her own with an older artist (Mikhail Baryshnikov, oozing world-weary European charm) while Charlotte has found domestic bliss with Harry (Evan Handler). Even sardonic Miranda finally caved in to Steve the Bah-tender’s affections.

Now all the show needs is a romantically perfect send-off, something much easier said than done. Given that Carrie’s perennial beau, Mr. Big (Chris Noth), is sure to return in some capacity, it’s a guessing game just how her love life will wrap up.

The second-to-last new episode of “Sex and the City” airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on HBO.

The other Arquette

We wonder if Miss Cleo knew actress Patricia Arquette would soon star in a series about a suburban psychic?

The actress, sister of Rosanna and David Arquette, is in negotiations to star in the NBC drama pilot “Medium,” Reuters News Agency reports. She would play a suburban mom who uses her psychic powers to solve crimes.

The actress’s film credits include “Stigmata” and “True Romance.” She most recently starred in Disney’s “Holes.”

Meanwhile, NBC has given a cast-contingent pilot pickup to “Never in My Wildest,” a romantic comedy about two people who have an undeniable spark but impossible standards.

In other NBC pilot news, brothers Anthony and Joe Russo have been tapped to direct the comedy-drama “HUB,” starring Heather Locklear and Blair Underwood.

“HUB” is described as a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a major U.S. airport. The Russos directed the pilot and several episodes of Fox’s hilarious, genre-busting comedy “Arrested Development.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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